POSTED: 15 JULY 2008 - 10:00am EST

Kauai's Water and Wastewater Electricity Problem

image above: The logo of the Kauai Department of Water

by Brad Parsons on 15 July 2008

On an Apollo Kauai retreat this past weekend, Ben Sullivan lent a document to me to read. It is the '2007 Kauai County Energy Assessment' (conducted July to Nov. 2007) dated March 27, 2008, done for the Mayor and County Council of Kauai.

I have a badly sprained ankle, so while most of the rest went out on a hike, I read the document and reference here what I found to be the most significant points in the whole document:

Of the County of Kauai's government use of electricity, the two biggest percentages of electricity use are by the Water department at 40.39% and the Wastewater department at 21.87%. This is on pp. 12 - 13 of the document.
From page 38 of the document, the most significant solution for reducing electricity use by the Water department is...more and larger storage tanks for water that has been pumped to the surface.

From page 40 of the document, the most interesting idea for reducing outside electricity used by the Wastewater department is related to the following...'The City of Eugene, Oregan, has a wastewater treatment plant. Ninety percent of the methane produced by that wastewater facility is redirected to produce power, which fills half of the power needs of that wastewater plant.' Kauai does not currently recover methane and use it from its wastewater operations.

Ben Sullivan told me that he prefers Bioremediation such as is recommended by Dr. John Todd. Regardless, the County of Kauai could be pursuing a couple of reasonable solutions to dramatically reduce the amount of electricity that the Water and Wastewater departments of the County are using, which together is more than 62% of all of the electricity that the County government uses.

see also:
Island Breath: KIUC Net Metering at %100 6/5/08
Island Breath: Kauai Over a Barrel 5/25/08